Identities, Positioning, and Critical Media Literacy
This chapter looks at the literature for support in challenging a monolithic view of the media. It explores how identities get constructed and positions get taken up or resisted. The chapter also explores identity construction and positionality to critical media literacy by using examples drawn from popular culture. It illustrates how the media can both hinder and promote the deconstruction of negative gender stereotypes. The intimate link between one's language and identity is a well-known fact in the field of sociolinguistics. One of the most visible ways in which the media positions young people is through popular culture texts that tend to create gendered identities. The two examples of positioning are representative of the different power relations operating in any given context. In the first example, C. Lewis tells a story involving her son and how he was positioned by a teacher as being the stereotypical rebellious teenager. The second example demonstrates the distinguishing characteristics between interactive and reflexive positioning.